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Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j5bwb6z wrote

    Dark clouds roiled in the distance, hurling tendrils of lightning to the ground. The cool wind blew them towards the small, strange, idyllic town where Lauren found herself stranded. She'd gotten lost after her phone died and now she'd run out of gas. Stupid, she thought, I always fuck up. Everywhere she looked was a pristine rambler-style house with a small, lush yard. They came in two types, with a white picket fence, and without. A suburban neighborhood miles away from anything urban, surrounded by corn fields. She walked the pothole free streets and noticed the women wore shirtwaist dresses, the men suits.

    "Is there a gas station somewhere near?" she asked a man in a gray suit and dress hat. He looked at her black denim skinny jeans with disdain.

    He scoffed and said, "No."

    Lauren noticed that everyone looked at her as she passed. Several times she tried to ask the same question about the gas station and each time she got the same simple answer, "No." As she approached the town center she met eyes with an old man. He had slicked back hair and sharp teeth.

    "Storm's coming," he said with a smile. Lauren quickened her pace to get away from the man. As she passed an alley, someone pulled her in, putting their hand over her mouth.

    "Shh, I'm going to help you," he said and slowly removed his hand from her mouth and turned towards him. The alley was dark, but she could make out his striking yellow eyes and his diminutive stature made smaller by hunching over.

    "What is this--" she started to say, but he cut her off by shoving a book in her hands. He disappeared back into the alley and Lauren thought she could make out scales on the man's back as he left.

    She inspected the book. It was leather bound and felt old, ancient even. The musty scent of the pages was almost overwhelming. As she flipped through the book, she noticed everything was handwritten in almost illegible script. It detailed how an ancient species that inhabited the abandoned mines to the south had cursed the town. Frozen in time since 1950, it didn't take kindly to outsiders.

    As she read, it was growing dark and the thunder clouds had started to roll into town. The thunder boomed and reverberated off the buildings near her. It started to rain. Thick, heavy sheets of rain. It was almost pitch black now. Lightning flashed, illuminating the town square long enough to see a circle of people, maybe a hundred in number, holding hands under the biblical rain. They began to chant in an ancient sounding tongue. In the middle was a hunched, scaly, grotesque facsimile of a man. For a long moment, there was no lightning and Lauren stood in the silent darkness of the alley, hoping they wouldn't spot her.

    Lightning flashed again and she saw it. The entire crowd was twenty feet closer to her and moving now. Lauren recoiled in panic, running deeper into the alley until she was in the light of a back entrance lamp. Hopefully she could at least see when they were upon her. She breathed and remembered there was an inscription at the back of the book in a foreign language. She flipped to the back of the book as the first figure reached the edge of the light. She read the inscription:


Akhea, oh h'las me whro

Akhea, oh me'ras me whro

Me'ras, akhea mneas.


    Lightning struck the tree in the center of town square and it exploded into burnt embers. The figures in front of her fell to their knees, unable to keep their balance, and gasped for air. They looked up at her with confused expressions.

    "Where are we? Who are you?"

    Lauren breathed a sigh of relief, I don't fuck everything up.